We find it hard to believe that other people's thoughts are as silly as our own, but they probably are.
Before we can diminish our sufferings from the ill-controlled aggressive assaults of fellow citizens, we must renounce the philosophy of punishment, the obsolete, vengeful penal attitude. In its place we would seek a comprehensive, constructive social attitude - therapeutic in some instances, restraining in some instances, but preventive in its total social impact.In the last analysis this becomes a question of personal morals and values. No matter how glorified or how piously disguised, vengeance as a human motive must be personally repudiated by each and every one of us. This is the message of old religions and new psychiatries. Unless this message is heard, unless we ... can give up our delicious satisfactions in opportunities for vengeful retaliation on scapegoats, we cannot expect to preserve our peace, our public safety, or our mental health....But the punitive attitude persists. And just so long as the spirit of vengeance has the slightest vestige of respectability, so long as it pervades the public mind and infuses its evil upon the statute books of the law, we will make no headway toward the control of crime. We cannot assess the most appropriate and effective penalties so long as we seek to inflict retaliatory pain.
Granted there are instances in which children have been reared in an atmosphere of inconsistency where value training of any kind was entirely missing; but even in these cases, it is the lack of loving guidance and structure rather than the lack of punitive retribution that has triggered the behavioral manifestations of delinquency. In a high percentage of court cases, there is evidence that the child has met with punishment that has not only been frequent but in many cases excessive. In fact, one of the sources of the child's own inadequate development is the model of open violence provided by the parent who has resorted repeatedly to corporal punishment, usually because of his own limited imagination. This indoctrination into a world where only might makes right and where all strength is invested in the authority of the mother or of the father not only makes it easy for the child to develop aggressive patterns of behavior but makes him emotionally distant and distrustful.
Clinical experience has indicated that where a child has been exposed early in his live to episodes of physical violence, whether he himself is the victim or ... the witness, he will often later demonstrate similar outbursts of uncontrollable rage and violence of his own. Aggression becomes an easy outlet through which the child's frustrations and tensions flow, not just because of a simple matter of learning that can be just as simply unlearned, not just because he is imitating a bad behavior model and can be taught to imitate something more constructive, but because these traumatic experiences have overwhelmed him. His own emotional development is too immature to withstand the crippling inner effects of outer violence. Something happens to the child's character, to his sense of reality, to the development of his controls against impulses that may not later be changed easily but which may lead to reactions that in turn provoke more reactions - one or more of which may be criminal. Then society reacts against him for what he did, but more for what all of us have done - unpleasantly - to one another. Upon him is laid the iniquity of us all...
For it is not possible to join serpentine wisdom with columbine innocency, except men know exactly all the conditions of the serpent: his baseness and going upon his belly, his volubility and lubricity, his envy and sting, and the rest; that is, all forms and natures of evil: for without this, virtue lieth open and unfenced.Bacon was referring to Jesus
Great ideas come into the world as quietly as doves. Perhaps then , if we listen attentively we shall hear, among the uproar of empires and nations, the faint fluttering of wings, the gentle stirrings of life and hope. Some will say this hope lies in a nation; others in a man. I believe rather that it is awakened, revived, nourished by millions of solitary individuals whose deeds and works every day negate frontiers and the crudest implications of history. Each and every one, on the foundations of their own suffering and joy builds for all.
In the one instance, the dreamer, or enthusiast, being interested by an object usually not frivolous, imperceptibly loses sight of this object in a wilderness of deductions and suggestions issuing therefrom, until, at the conclusion of a day dream often replete with luxury, he finds the incitamentum, or first cause of his musings, utterly vanished and forgotten. In my case, the primary object was invariably frivolous, although assuming, through the medium of my distempered vision, a refracted and unreal importance. Few deductions, if any, were made; and those few pertinaciously returning in, so to speak, upon the original object as a centre. The meditations were never pleasurable; and, at the termination of the reverie, the first cause, so far from being out of sight, had attained that supernaturally exaggerated interest which was the prevailing feature of the disease. In a word, the powers of mind more particularly exercised were, with me, as I have said before, the attentive, and are, with the day-dreamer, the speculative.
You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel.
His ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary literature, philosophy and politics he appeared to know next to nothing. Upon my quoting Thomas Carlyle, he inquired in the naivest way who he might be and what he had done. My surprise reached a climax, however, when I found incidentally that he was ignorant of the Copernican Theory and of the composition of the Solar System. That any civilized human being in this nineteenth century should not be aware that the earth travelled round the sun appeared to me to be such an extraordinary fact that I could hardly realize it.You appear to be astonished, he said, smiling at my expression of surprise. Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it.To forget it!You see, he explained, I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.But the Solar System! I protested.What the deuce is it to me? he interrupted impatiently: you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.This is Watson describing one of his earliest conversations with Sherlock Holmeshttp://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/DoyScar.html
Said the little boy, Sometimes I drop my spoon.Said the little old man, I do that too.The little boy whispered, I wet my pants.I do too, laughed the old man.Said the little boy, I often cry.The old man nodded. So do I.But worst of all, said the boy, it seemsGrown-ups don't pay attention to me.And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.I know what you mean, said the little old man.
I asked the zebra,Are you black with white strips?Or white with black strips?And the zebra asked me,Are you good with bad habits?Or are you bad with good habits?Are you noisy with quiet times?Or are you quiet with noisy times?Are you happy with sad days?Or are you sad with happy days?Are you neat with some sloppy ways?Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?And on and on and on and onAnd on and on he went.I'll never ask a zebraAbout stripesAgain.
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket -- safe, dark, motionless, airless -- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.